grind·​stone | \ ˈgrīn(d)-ˌstōn How to pronounce grindstone (audio) \

Definition of grindstone

2 : a flat circular stone of natural sandstone that revolves on an axle and is used for grinding, shaping, or smoothing

Illustration of grindstone

Illustration of grindstone

grindstone 2

Examples of grindstone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Oslo of the aughts, however, young baristas were putting a more serious, grindstone-nosed focus on the quality of coffee. Michael Paul Light, Los Angeles Times, "Trish Rothgeb coined ‘third wave’ — and is now looking toward coffee’s future," 4 Oct. 2019 Business practices that work in one country may not necessarily be effective somewhere else, with Japanese workers in particular are noted for their nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "Microsoft tried a 4-day work week — and productivity soared," 4 Nov. 2019 In July, according to U.S. Customs, two California importers controlled by a Chinese manufacturer tried to dodge the tariff by coding diamond saw blades as grindstones. Chuin-wei Yap, WSJ, "The U.S.-China Trade Battle Spawns a New Era of Tariff Dodges," 8 Oct. 2018 All nose-to-the-grindstone makes Jack a dishwater-dull knife. Paul Muldoon, The New Yorker, "Position Paper," 2 Sep. 2019 The tree was on the grounds of Bourlémont Castle, the château upon which the villagers of Domrémy toiled for their grindstone lives. C.d. Wright, Harper's magazine, "Life’s a Beech," 10 Jan. 2019 Put your nose to the grindstone and complete your tasks on time. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for June 7, 2019: Scorpio, watch for strings; Pisces, avoid this time-waster," 7 June 2019 Leading the charge was unassuming power forward Clyde Lee, a 6-foot-10 nose-to-the-grindstone worker bee. Mark Dufrene, The Mercury News, "A timeline of 10 pulsating Oracle-era Warriors memories," 5 June 2019 My mother has always been so professional and always kept her nose to grindstone. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Roswell, New Mexico Actress Lily Cowles Reveals Whether or Not She Believes in Aliens," 16 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grindstone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grindstone

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for grindstone

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The first known use of grindstone was in the 13th century

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Statistics for grindstone

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Grindstone.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for grindstone


How to pronounce grindstone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grindstone

: a stone disc that can be turned like a wheel and that is used for sharpening tools, smoothing rough edges, etc.


grind·​stone | \ ˈgrīnd-ˌstōn How to pronounce grindstone (audio) \

Kids Definition of grindstone

: a flat round stone that turns to sharpen or shape things

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More from Merriam-Webster on grindstone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grindstone

Spanish Central: Translation of grindstone

Nglish: Translation of grindstone for Spanish Speakers

Comments on grindstone

What made you want to look up grindstone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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